Most indie developers can expect only one additional copy of their game sold by getting a review or article on most video game news sites, according to research conducted by Goose Gaming Consulting LLC, an indie game research and advisory firm.
In conjunction with the release of Goose’s “Indie Developer Press Information and Contact Listing” product, the firm also crafted its first indie game research white paper, “Overview of Indie Game Press and Sales Utility”, based on the data found in the product. According to the study, the average video game news and review site received slightly less than 70,000 visitors every day. However, when researchers removed the top viewership percentiles, a more accurate reflection of the amount of customers indie games can expect to garner was revealed.
“We noticed that, as we analyzed the data gathered from our product, the largest sites – your IGNs, Eurogamers, etc. – clearly skewed viewership data and the overall statistics” says Goose CEO Cooper Schembor. “Removing the top ten percentile saw the average number of daily viewers drop to under 12,000 a day – more than 95%. It became even more apparent as we removed further percentiles. In fact, most of the sites were researched attracted less than 500 visitors on average.”
In addition to viewership analysis, Goose Gaming Consulting’s white paper also provides averages and insights into geographic-specific data, social media followings, trends in site posting frequencies and review policies, and niche site coverage.
Perhaps most astounding, however, is the white paper’s claims into predicting sales of indie games based on its coverage. Based on average site viewership produced by Goose and data on webpage bounce and conversion rates, Goose estimates that, for most indie developers, reviews on the sites most likely to cover their games will yield approximately one additional sale.
“We took the overall visitor average we synthesized and multiplied it by average online bounce rates. Then, we factored in the average number of visitors who will actually read a whole article (only about 20%). Finally, we multiplied once more by online conversion rate averages for landing pages. The conclusion we came to was that an average article should yield a little over 150 final purchases of a game”.
“However,” Schembor continues, “this statistic includes the larger sites that most small indie teams will have trouble getting their games actually covered on. If we remove the only the top 10% of sites, those estimated additional sales fall to just 27 units. And if we look at only the bottom 50% of sites in terms of viewership, the sites most likely to respond to review and news requests from small indie teams, we estimate that an article on those outlets will only get you one additional sale”.
Luckily, Goose’s research isn’t all doom and gloom, noting how indie developers who manage to get covered on multiple sites will likely see multiplying sales benefits and increase their odds of coverage on larger sites. Additionally, the study also found that sites covering niche genres and demographics (including those posting higher amounts of indie game content) usually yield higher average visitors per day in addition to being more likely to cover projects from indie developers.
Goose Gaming Consulting’s white paper can be downloaded for free on their website. Goose’s “Indie Developer Press Information and Contact Listing”, from which the paper’s research the based on, can also be purchased for only $60.00 at the company’s site.